Online voting tipped to be under consideration

A document that may include recommendations on the advisability of online elections is still under lock and key with a select committee

The Electoral Office may have advised Parliament that it’s time to take another look at online voting, but its advice, tendered to a Parliamentary Select Committee, will remain under wraps for some time yet.

In the wake of a successful online census exercise, Electoral Office spokesman Robert Peden says the office does not comment to the media on “matters on which we may also have given policy advice”. He directed Computerworld to the inquiry into the conduct of the most recent general election, currently before the Justice and Electoral Select Committee, implying that we might find something pertinent in the Electoral Office’s “submission” to that inquiry, if submissions have been made public.

A committee spokeswoman says submissions are now public, but remarks made by the Electoral Office are not a “submission” to the committee in the strict sense of that word; they are “advice”, and such advice is not released publicly until the committee has presented its own report.

There is no firm date yet for the presentation of that report, she says.

Meanwhile, in the US, the electronic voting machines produced by Diebold continue to attract criticism, particularly on the grounds that they are difficult for disabled people to access and operate.

One city, Tucson, Arizona, announced last month that it would introduce postal voting for local elections to overcome problems of inaccessibility.

The online census form attracted a mixture of mostly positive and a little negative criticism from disabled New Zealanders.

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